HRR 2002

IWPS Incident Report #27

Summary: Army occupies the house of Abu Ali in Hares

Date and time: Friday, December 27, 2002, 1:45 p.m.

Place: House of Abu Ali, near the roadblock, Hares village

Witnesses:Kate, Nijmie, Abu Ali, Um Ali, Um Fadi, Abu Fadi

Description of Incident

At about 1:45 p.m. Um Fadi called IWPS and reported that soldiers had entered the home of her neighbors. Kate and Nijmie went out and saw jeeps heading out of town. There were also three jeeps and a military ambulance at the roadblock. Soldiers were controlling the entrance to the village, but people were on the street and not being stopped from entering or leaving.

The soldiers were occupying the top floor of Abu Ali’s house, which is the first and the tallest house in the village. After talking with the family briefly, Kate and Nijmie went upstairs and spoke to the soldiers, who were pointing guns with sniper scopes out all the windows and guarding the entrance to the upstairs. The soldiers claimed they didn’t know why they were there and that we should ask the ones who were at the roadblock. The family was all downstairs and had apparently been told to stay there, but all the doors were open. There were six soldiers in the house and 8 at the roadblock. After about half an hour, the ambulance and one jeep left. Men entering the village as well as those leaving were required to lift up their clothes and turn around as well as show their ID. Women were mostly not stopped.

After having coffee with Um Ali and her children, Kate went to talk to the soldiers at the roadblock and ask why they were in the village. Nijmie telephoned the DCO to ask the same. One of the soldiers told Kate, “We don’t have anything better to do.” Another said, in response to her question, “As they say in the movies, that’s for us to know and you to find out.”

About an hour and a half after she first asked, Nijmie got a call from someone in the DCO’s office who told her that it was an “army operation,” and that it would be over at 5:00 p.m. At about 4:30, the soldiers from the roadblock went up to the house, one ordered Abu Ali to open the closed side of the door (half was already open). Abu Ali protested that the man could do it himself, but the soldier insisted. The soldiers from inside walked out, the commander said to Abu Ali, “Shabbat Shalom,” they all got into their jeeps and left by the settler road. Abu Ali said they told him they were there because boys from the village had thrown stones from the top of the house, and said they would come back after 10:00 p.m. Kate and Nijmie patrolled the area from 9:45 to about midnight. The army did not return that night and has not been in the house again since.

Filed By: Kate R., December 30, 2002

IWPS Incident Report #26

Summary: Soldiers arrest 3 men from one family

Date and time: December 8, 2002, about 6:00 p.m.

Place: Deir Istya

Witnesses: I.K. and family

Description of Incident

Soldiers came to the house of family K. and arrested the 3 sons of the family of which they had arrested the fourth brother M. on December 3rd (see arrest report 11). The 5th brother has been paraplegic for a year since he was shot by Israeli soldiers during a demonstration.

I., J. and N., all members of the People’s Party, were arrested by the army who accused them of having arms. So they were informed. “We are men of the PP and never use weapons”, N. said to the officer. He was just coming back from picking olives. “If you don’t shut up, we’ll break your bones”, the officer further said to N.

N. was taken to the house of a “shahid”, there he was questioned about the brother of the “shahid”. They could not find him because he is in Ramallah.

The army tried to induce N. to give names of persons and other organizations. In return he was offered a permission for working in Israel.

N. was also ordered to gather the old men in the village, next morning, to allow the officer to speak to them about the children throwing stones. They also said they would release M. on the following day. All promises to recruit N. as a collaborator.

Comment of I.: Women and children witness the arrest of their fathers, brothers. It is a sort of punishment for them too. More than 20 women and children were waiting and crying.

J. was taken into the car to be questioned. Mainly about the Palestinian police of which he was a member, like his brother M. and the brother of the “shahid”.

Filed By:Dorothىe R., 9th December 2002

IWPS Incident Report #25

Headline: Soldiers shot at Service and injured three people

Date and time: December 3, 2002, 4:30 p.m.

Place: Awarta/Nablus District

Witnesses: F.H., his wife and all the passengers in the service; inhabitants of Awarta

Description of Incident

F. needed to see the doctor in Nablus, due to his leg illness and could finally manage to organise a transport for himself and his wife. At about 4.30 p.m. they passed Awarta in a service with about 18 other passangers. Soldiers were in the streets and stopped the cars. It seemed as if they wanted to stop a certain car and started shooting, but when the service with F. arrived, the soldiers shot on that car as well. The driver finally stopped the car, when people in his car started crying, that they were injured. Three people were shot, two still have the bullet in their leg and one is in hospital until today (5th December 2002). About 5 soldiers came to the car, pulled the driver and other passengers out and beaten them with their guns or feet. They started to beat the three injured people and stopped when they realized that there was blood.

The soldiers destroyed the windows of their service and some cars around them, which had stopped in the meanwhile. In the same service they finally got to the Huwwara-checkpoint, but the soldiers told them that they had no permission to enter and that they need an ambulance for crossing.

After about 1.5 hour waiting at the checkpoint the ambulance of the army came and did some first aid on the leg of F., they checked the ID of everybody and after another 1.5 hours they could pass in an ambulance to get the treatment in Nablus Hospital.

Filed By: Karin T., 5 December, 2002

IWPS Incident Report #24

Summary: Palestinians and Internationals Harassed by Private Security Guards Near Izbet Salman and Falamia

Date and time: 1 December 2002, 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Place: Izbet Salman and Falamia villages, Qalqilya District

Witnesses: Hussein Q.; Thamin B.; Khaled; Megumi and Nijmie, IWPS

Description of Incident

About 11:00 a.m., Thamin B., Hussein Q. and Khaled, with two others from Izbet Salman were showing Kate, Megumi and Nijmie the area where work is begun on the Separation Wall. Kate was taking digital video and Megumi was shooting stills with a telephoto lens. A security truck and a car arrived; the men in them consulted for a moment, then the car took off up the mountain toward the bulldozers and two men with rifles and bulletproof vests got out of the truck. They told Kate to stop filming, asked who we were and if we had permission from the Army to film. Kate said that it was Palestinian land and we had permission from the village; they said that they knew she was not taking film of the villages and this was “Israeli territory.” Megumi asked them who they are, if they were soldiers, and they said “We’re not allowed to say.” They said they had called the Army and “they will probably check you” because this is a “closed area”; they also said that they did not know the Palestinians we were with (one of whom is a prominent member of the Izbet Salman community) and therefore, they are not the owner of the land. The Palestinian man argued with them for a few minutes and we left.

About 12:30 p.m., we were filming again on the road around Falamia. A security truck appeared and blocked the road. Two men got out; both had rifles and one had a handgun which he cocked. They had on bulletproof vests over blue uniforms and wore caps that said “Security.” The man with the handgun told the Palestinian men to lift their shirts, which they did. They then stopped a taxi which was coming up the road but was blocked by their truck and asked the driver for his ID and made him lift his shirt. They asked Nijmie where she was from and told her to tell Kate to turn off the camera. Nijmie did. Kate asked them who they were and they said, “Israeli Special Forces.” They asked Nijmie for her passport, and she showed them the copy. They said thank you, then they wrote down the license number of the car as we were getting in.

Filed By: Kate R., December 1, 2002

IWPS Incident Report #23

Summary: Palestinian boy beaten up by the Army

Date and time: 19th November 2002, 8:00 p.m.

Place: Deir Istya

Witnesses: Grandfather of O.

Description of Incident

O. was walking down the main street of Deir Istia from the center of the village to his home. When he was almost at his house some soldiers arrived and stopped him. They made him lift his shirt to make sure, he has nothing attached around his wast and open his shoes. Then they pulled him on his shirt and asked him, who in the village sells Benzin. O. explained that there is only one in the village and everybody knows him, but he didn’t say his name. Another question was about an incident in the village concerning his uncle (they obviously knew about some circumstances). At the same time there were stones and Molotov cocktails thrown onto the settler road near the roadblock at the entrance of the village and they ask O. who it is. O. again said, that he doesn’t know. So the soldiers took him to the roadblock. All the time they repeated their question, who threw stones. Then they put him into their jeep and drove into the village. In the car and also on the street and at the roadblock, they hit him with their fists, boots and their guns. He has a injury on his back from the gun. While the army and police (4 army jeeps and 1 police jeep) was collecting three other young men from the village and announcing curfew, the soldiers told him, that they want to demolish his house, because someone has thrown stones near the roadblock and to destroy his future. As they told him, that they want to take him to the military basis from Yakir to ask him again about the persons who threw stones. When O. asked how he can go back home afterwards, they left the idea. When they wanted to drive out of the village, the jeep was stopped by two IWPS-members, standing in the street. (see Incident report No 22). O. recognised Karin and heard that also the army mentioned the “crazy women” by their names. After a while, the jeeps continued and when they came to the junction where the agricultural road branches off the main road towards outside the village, they released O., who walked back home. The army took the other three men to Ariel and released them also the same night.

Filed By: Karin T., November 20, 2002

IWPS Incident Report #21

Summary: Palestinian beaten up by Border Police, threatened with death

Date and time: 16th November 2002, 10:30 a.m.

Place: Azun, Qalqilya District

Owner from the shops and the houses in the area. Medical report at Dr. Mahmoud Zidan (Deir Istia) and the Doctor from Azun

Description of Incident

Mohammad was on his way back home from Kalkilya to Deir Istia and had to change the public transport in Azun. While he and others were waiting for the car to Deir Istia, they heard people announcing that the Border Police were coming. Everybody left the area and ran in different directions, because they knew about the possible harrassment from previous experience (Mohammad was beaten by the Border Police one year ago at the entrance of his village). Mohammad also left the area slowly and got into a stationary service taxi. The Border Police chased people who were running from the area and then stopped next to the taxi Mohammad was sitting in and shot two or three times into the air. The Policemen pulled him out of the car. There was one commander and three other policemen. They hit him with their gun, with an iron bar, kicked him with their boots on his thigh, head and shoulders and injured him on his left knee. Another Palestinian was also hit, but managed to escape. The Police took him to their car. They took his ID and questioned him in Arabic and Hebrew, asking him where he was coming from, where he was going, why he came here and if he was afraid of them. He said yes, but they answered: “No you are not, but you will be soon. We are God. You have to pray to us.” One policeman pointed a gun at Mohammed’s head, cocked it and told him that they wanted to kill him. Then they said: “We are going to kill you. Run into the olive groves and then we will shoot you and say that you were a terrorist trying to escape. Mohammad ran along the street with his injured knee, but they shouted that he should come back and run into the groves. When he came back, they hit him with a stick and told him again to run into the fields. He ran into the groves, they cocked their guns several times but did not shoot. When Mohammad reached the first house, the owners helped him, brought him to the doctor for first treatment and arranged a car to bring him back home. On arriving back home, Mohammed went to see his doctor who surveyed his injuries and recommended that Mohammed consult the neurologist in Salfit. At the time of writing he had yet to make that appointment.

Filed By: Karin T., November 19, 2002

IWPS Incident Report #20

Summary: Settlers attack villagers at Jemaiin with clubs and guns, steal 5 sacks of olives

Date and time: Friday, November 15, 2002, 11:30 a.m.

Place: Olive grove on hill between Marda and Tapuach

Witnesses: Family of Aziz A.

Description of Incident

Four women and three men from the family of Aziz A., villagers of Jemaiin, were picking olives in their fields near Marda. The group included Aziz’s wife, mother, sister, daughter, brother and his son’s wife. They had picked since early morning and gathered five sacks of olives, each about 50-60 kilos. About 11:30 a.m., 4 or 5 settlers came running up, shouting “go away from here,” in Hebrew and Arabic and throwing stones at the villagers. All the settlers were armed with guns, one had a club with nails in the top (see photo A). Mrs. A. told them to wait while they gathered up their things, but the settlers continued to yell, “go, go.” , They threw stones at the villagers, hitting Aziz’s brother on the back and leg, and his mother, who is 75, on the hand (see photo B). The settler with the club brandished it at Aziz’s brother. The people ran away, leaving their olives and all their personal belongings, including identity cards. Someone who was working on the electricity in a nearby field called the Israeli Army, who came two and a half hours later and went with the family to the field to collect their things. Everything was there except the five sacks of olives. The soldiers said they could not do anything about the attack or the theft of the olives.

One of the settlers wore a black mask. Two had beards, the fourth (the one with the club) was very short and blonde, with payos (sidecurls) and a small beard.

Filed By: Kate R. and Karin T.

IWPS Incident Report #17

Summary: Army fires tear gas at olive pickers in Salfit

Date and time: November 2, 2002, 8:00 a.m.

Place: Northwest corner of Ariel fence, Salfit

Witnesses: Ali-Abu E. family; Dan O., Ester S., Lysander P., Sonia R.

Description of Incident

On Saturday, November 2, 2002, four men and two women of the Ali-Abu E. family, accompanied by four ISM volunteers, were picking olives in Salfit near the military guardpost at the northwest corner of Ariel. For the previous two days soldiers had fired tear gas into the grove from behind the fence, but little had actually reached the pickers. On November 1, ISM and IWPS volunteers had spoken to the soldiers and requested that they stop throwing gas into the field. The soldiers had threatened to shoot and gas the volunteers, but the confrontation was brief.

About 8:00 a.m. on November 2, the soldiers fired six tear gas canisters toward the field. The volunteers called IWPS, and Claire and Dunya from IWPS called the Israeli DCO’s office as well as the Ariel police to ask why tear gas was being thrown into the field again. The police and Army denied that any gas was being used. At 9:00 a.m., 4 soldiers entered the grove and fired four canisters of tear gas. The soldiers shouted at the pickers while they fired. The men of the family understood one of the soldiers to say in Hebrew, “Let me kill them.” ISM volunteers filmed the gas coming into the grove and gathered up some of the canisters as evidence. After Dunya reported this to the Ariel police, the DCO’s office said that it had been a mistake and done against orders. An announcement was made from the mosque in Salfit saying that the gassing and other interference of that morning (see Report 16) was a mistake and it was safe to pick in the fields.

Filed By: Kate R, Nov. 6, 2002

IWPS Incident Report #16

Summary: Settler security and Israeli Army attempt to block Mayor of Salfit and others from picking their olives

Date and time: November 2, 2002, 7:30 a.m.

Place: Intersection of tank road and agricultural road, between Salfit and Ariel

Witnesses: Fikri S. and family; Dr. Shaher Eshteih; Abu Shaher; Deirdre Al-Caq, ISM

Description of Incident

On Saturday, November 2, 2002, I was riding in the car with the Mayor of Salfit, Dr. Shaher Eshteih and Deirdre Al-Caq, an ISM volunteer, to pick olives with Dr. Shaher’s father on the eastern side of the Ariel fence. When we got to the intersection of the tank road and the agricultural road, we saw a settler security vehicle blocking the road. The armed security guard and a man in Israeli Army uniform were standing in the road talking to a group of Palestinians. Deirdre and I immediately got out of the car and asked them what the problem was. They ignored us and went to the Mayor’s car window and demanded to know who he was and where he was going. When he said he was going to pick olives, they asked if he had a license to pick here. “Go back to Salfit,” the security guard said. “You cannot pick here.”

The soldiers verbally abused the people while we insisted they move their truck so that we could go up to the groves. Deirdre and I called the Israeli DCO’s office and the Ariel police station to try to get them to enforce the people’s rights. The Ariel police said there was no English speaker there, so I asked Ora Finn, an Israeli, to call and find out why we were being prevented from picking. Ora called back a few minutes later to say that she had talked to Rafi in the Israeli DCO’s office and he was “sorting it out.” She said that at first, they seemed to say that we had permission to pick, but when pressed, would not confirm this.

The security guard and soldier left and one of the older women came to me crying and clutching her heart. She seemed to have been badly frightened by the soldier and security guard. We talked to the people for a while, telling them it was okay, that they could pick their olives now. After half an hour or so, the people whose land was near the road eventually went to pick their trees and we continued up the hill. However, the Mayor did not feel it was safe to go to the area right by the fence, but chose an area further away than we had intended to pick. Shortly after this, another group on the western side of the same area was tear-gassed by IDF (see Report No. 17). About 11:30 a.m., after a number of telephone conversations with the DCO and the Ariel police, an announcement was made from the mosque in Salfit that the area was safe to pick in.

Filed By: Kate R., November 6, 2002

IWPS Incident Report No.15

Summary: Taxi driver of Deir Istia beaten up by the Army

Incident details

Date: 27th October 2002

Time: 17.00

Place: Main street on Deir Istia

Witness: Dan (Canadian from ISM)

Description of Incident:

The Service car of D. had just entered Deir Istia bringing farmers home from Kana-Valley, when they were stopped by two army jeeps, who were driving through the village anouncing curfew after the suicide bombing at Ariel gas station the same afternoon.

By loudspeaker the soldiers, Druse, told D. to stop, turn off the motor and get out of the car. First they asked only the driver, then all the passengers to step out of the car. When D. got out and was closer to the jeep, they grabbed him by his t-shirt and pulled him into the jeep. While driving along the main street of Deir Istia they asked for his ID but did not talk to him or explain anything. D. did not know why he was taken, nor where they would bring him. The soldiers hit him with their fists and kicked him the whole way along the street. One soldier hit him right in his face, next to his left eye. Whenever D. tried to speak, they hit him even more. When they left Deir Istia and started driving towards Kifl Hareth one soldier said: “kick him off the jeep”. One soldier hit his gun into D.’s stomach. When he was doubled over with pain, another soldiers kicked him out of the door with his foot.

The jeeps left and D. could phone his brother to pick him up and bring him home to his wife, children and mother, worrying, waiting for him.

Report written by: Karin

Date report written on: 28.10.2002

IWPS Incident Report No.14

Summary: Armed settlers attack Palestinian farmers, Israeli activists and Internationals while picking olives

Summary of incident

Armed settlers attack Palestinian farmers, Israeli activists and Internationals while picking olives on 17th October 2002. Six or seven shots fired by settlers. Several Palestinians sustain minor cuts and bruises from stones, many were threatened with shooting and many assaulted as they were roughly beaten back by settlers. Violence was contained by the peaceful and restrained response of the Palestinians who waited over an hour and a half before police arrived and began removing the armed settlers. Picking continued for the rest of day.

IWPS Incident Report No.: 13

Summary: Confrontation between Palestinians from Yasuf, Internationals and Tapuah settlers.

Incident details

Date: October 16, 2002

Time: 7a.m. to 9:30a.m.

Place: Olive grove of village Yasuf

Witness: -IWPS- Angie & Claire

Description of Incident

7 a.m. Wednesday October 16, 2002 Members of International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and International Women’s Peace Service (IWPS) were walking up to the hillside olive grove with a group of Palestinians from the village Yasuf, West Bank to pick olives. There were 20-30 Palestinians already scattered around the hillside. As the Internationals approached the site, they heard gunshots and saw 4-5 armed settlers from the nearby settlement of Tapuah throwing stones and shouting at the Palestinians. The Internationals joined the Palestinians who were under attack and asked the settlers to stop. The settlers, while throwing stones at the unarmed Palestinians shouted back, that they are the peaceful ones and want peace.

As more armed settlers were arriving by car, 4 or 5 shots were fired in the air to frighten the Palestinians and the Internationals. One settler was observed using a catapult to hurl stones down the hill. The settlers aiming their guns at the Palestinians said: “Go, go. Do you want to be shot? ”

At approximately 7:15, more Internationals and Palestinians arrived to join the group. The Internationals formed a line across four terraces and sat down. Some Palestinians joined them. The Palestinian women and children had left the hillside and returned to the village. The men were sheltering themselves from the continuous avalanche of rocks from the settlers above.

Meanwhile the police were called several times. At the hillside 6 soldiers had arrived and were scattered around and they appeared to be working with the settlers. Then a shot was heard close by. An International saw the police made the settler, who had fired, empty his cartridge and took him away.

As the area had been declared a “closed military zone” soldiers were forcefully pushing the Palestinians down the slope. IWPS member Angie tried to negotiate with the soldiers informing them that the internationals would not leave. The soldiers were rough in removing the Palestinians and said they may have to use violence to clear out the area. Although the soldiers manhandled both the Palestinians and the Internationals there was a higher level of brutality towards the Palestinians.

The Palestinians left and returned to the village. The internationals stayed on the hillside. By 9:30 a.m. the incident was over, but the internationals decided to remain for a couple of hours before joining the Palestinians who were now picking at another site.

The villagers of Yasuf are getting more and more angry at the difficulties that they face when harvesting their crops. Yasuf is one of many villages that IWPS is working with to help villagers get to their land. We are asking the police and the army to control those armed and violent settlers. Farmers need the protection of the police to be able to access their land to work and collect the crop.

Report written by: Mariam

Date report written on: October 16,2002

IWPS Incident Report 12

Incident details

Date: 17th October 2002

Time: 7.30 – 9.30 am

Place: Olive groves of Yasouf between Tapuach settlement and Tapuach Chadasch

Witnesses: Claire, Karin, Angie from IWPS. Susan, Lee from ISM. Hillel and Or from Taayush 4 witnesses from Yasouf.

Description of Incident

From 6.15a.m. onwards Palestinians began moving from the village houses of Yasouf and by 6.30 around 250 had gathered at the roadblock on their agricultural road leading to the new and old settlements of Tapuach. Approximately 16 Internationals from IWPS and ISM joined by some 8 or 9 Israeli activists including Rabbis for Human Rights were with them. They had planned a nonviolent response to the armed settlers and gathered together for protection to walk up the road, over the hill and onto their fields in the other valley as part of their strategy. This hill had been occupied by armed settlers stealing their olives for over a week.

At around 6.50a.m. the farmers reached the ridge and began to descend into their olive terraces on the other side. The farmers with their Israeli and International friends scattered into the olive groves in three main directions. Almost immediately came the sound of shots and a group to the east of the other two main groupings were attacked by armed settlers who threatened the farmers with their guns and knives, attacked them physically and verbally and tried to push everybody away and back towards the village. The Israelis and Internationals interposed their bodies between the settlers and farmers as the stones were aimed mainly at Palestinians, especially the women.

The settlers were shouting: ‘Go away – fuck you all – fuck your mother – go back to Saudi Arabia where you came from – go, or you gonna be hurt – you wanna be shot? This land is ours – go, go’. Around 6 or 7 shots were fired during the whole incident. Two people had their cameras attacked and damaged. Several people reported being struck by rocks and some were injured. The injuries were all minor cuts and bruises.

One settler (short black hair, chain around his neck, American/English, with a knife) took a pruning saw and threw it into the fields and tried to take other equipment off the farmers. The same person tried to violently remove the camera of an Israeli activist and hit Claire Peak’s video-camera. He also pressed his knife onto the throat of an Israeli man. [see Pic1/171002/Yasouf attached]. A large number of people were threatened with guns and told they would be shot if they did not move away. They were also hit and manhandled down the slopes by settlers, some of which can be identified. For instance, Angie Zelter can identify the settler who attacked her. She witnessed this man threaten and assault around 7 or 8 Palestinians shoving them down the terraces with his rifle and striking out at them and throwing stones, one of which struck a woman and two of which struck men. She also witnessed a Palestinian being struck and assaulted by a settler and threatened with his life. There are pictures of several of the settlers involved in the attack  They were taken by a Canadian man named Lee Onyszchuk, who was a witness to all these events. 2 Palestinians were both hurt by stones and the names of all the other Palestinians who were assaulted is still being collected. The Palestinians were perfectly peaceful and did not respond violently even though they were being attacked.

As the Palestinians were threatened and intimidated out of the olive trees, they left their tarps, ladders, sacks and donkeys and gathered into three main groupings, sat down and were mostly silent. Their behavior was disciplined and calm despite the provocation as the settlers moved around pointing their guns and throwing stones. 2 or 3 Internationals kept with each settler. There were around 10 to 15 settlers though it was difficult to estimate as they moved from one area to another when thwarted by international or press presence.

Although military and police protection had been promised to the Palestinians by the Israeli DCL for the whole of the olive picking season, to make sure that the harvest could be done safely, only one military jeep arrived at the start. More military jeeps arrived, but most of the soldiers stood around the jeeps, watching the scene and talking to the settlers and only about 10 of them went into the fields to stop the settlers harassing the farmers.

The Police eventually arrived, but many of them also stood on top of the hill, watching what was happening rather than controlling the situation. It took them about 40 minutes, till they went to the groups and disarmed two settlers on their way down the terraces. Slowly the police and army managed to control the settlers and around two hours later the settlers had mainly disappeared. The Palestinians then felt safe enough to start dispersing around the fields again and re-start their picking. They were not allowed to pick in some of the areas where they wanted to as the soldiers told them they could only pick in one of the areas. Some families left as their olive trees were still in the banned areas. They hope to return next Monday when the farmers have decided they will return. Others picked until late in the afternoon. One military jeep remained on the top of the ridge, controlling the road and keeping the area free of settlers.

As the Palestinians returned to their picking the Internationals scattered amongst them, keeping a watch out for settlers. They escorted families back home throughout the day as they took their olives home, past the remaining army jeep where settlers were still clustered. Several of these settlers spat at Palestinians and Internationals as they passed by. More settlers re-appeared later on in the day but were stopped by the army from going further. One of these later settlers was also violent and tried on several occasions to take International’s cameras and the soldiers who were watching did not intervene.

The next day (the 18th October) was declared a no-picking day by the Israeli DCL and the soldiers brought a huge tank which they placed on the top of the ridge with its gun barrel pointing down the Palestinian agricultural road straight into the heart of the village of Yasouf. When approached by Internationals, the soldier in command said it was for the protection of the Palestinians, although it must be noted that one soldier said in an aside that it was to protect the settlers. Meanwhile, the armed settlers were seen lounging around the tank chatting casually to the army.

Report written by: Karin and Angie.

Date report written on: 17 and 18.10.2002

IWPS Incident Report No.11

Summary of Incident

Destruction by the Israeli Military of five houses and damage to twenty one other houses in the town of Salfit during the night of Tuesday, October 8, 2002 and into Wednesday October 9, 2002

Incident Details

Date: October 9, 2002

Time: night time

Place: Salfit

Witness: various

Description of the incident

On Friday, October 11, 2002, IWPS was informed of the destruction of two houses in the town of Salfit. On Saturday, October 12, IWPS member Mariam, accompanied by volunteers Robin and Joyce went to the site accompanied by Mohamed Ashqar.

The first house that was ‘officially’ demolished was owned by X. He rented out the house to Y, who lived in the house with his wife and four children. As we could not contact X, a neighbour told us that the house was dynamited at approximately 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, October 9,2002.This neighbour’s house is also badly damaged. Other houses in the vicinity were also damaged. We saw many houses with broken windows. When asked why this house had been targeted, the people present told us that the family renting the house has 2 sons in Israeli prison.

It must be noted that the two houses immediately next to X’s house were also destroyed by the blast – ‘unofficially’ destroyed. These two families are a couple and four children and a couple and five children.

The second house that was ‘officially’ destroyed the same night was located in the centre of Salfit. When we arrived at the scene, there were four men searching through the rubble. One of the men, the son of the owner of the house, was searching. On the night of the event, the soldiers gave his family 15 minutes to leave the house in order to search the house. After the search, the soldiers then told his father that he had 10 minutes to take whatever he wanted from the house and that they were going to blow it up. The soldiers refused the father’s request for someone to help him. Then the house was blown up with dynamite. As a result of the blast three adjacent houses were also damaged as well as part of the old souk. The family is now living in a rented apartment.

During our presence the searchers pulled out of the rubble various articles including children’s schoolbooks, blankets, socks, a women’s dress, broken framed pictures and a sack of potatoes. As for a reason for the demolition of the house, one of the sons is in jail in Israel. We were also told that the fire engine was prevented by the Israeli Military from reaching the burning houses and putting the fires out.

Conclusion: The known facts are that two houses were destroyed in Salfit from approximately 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday October 9, 2002. The collateral damage affected twenty-one other houses with at least three, that IWPS knows of, which are no longer habitable. The people living in the two houses were not told of a reason for the destruction of their houses. The only thing that they do have in common is the fact that both families have sons in Israeli jails.

Report written by: Mariam (see also IWPS Report No 17 which includes pics)
Report written up on: October 12, 2002

IWPS Incident Report No.10

Summary: Palestinian Olive trees belonging to Mantassar Awad of Kifl Hares burnt near Ariel Settlement

Incident details

Date: 04.10.2002

Time: afternoon

Place: Kifl Hares Olive grove, adjacent to Ariel, near the Israeli Electricity Plant

Witness: a Kifl Hares farmer

Description of Incident

A farmer of Kifl Hares and witness of the incident, describes the happening as follows:

While he was harvesting his olives, a car with Israeli Plates and roughly 5 people in it arrived, threw something in the neighboring grove which set the olive trees on fire. It was the olive grove of an architect living also in Kifl Hares.

He and some other people, who were harvesting, defeated the fire, smothering it with olive branches but he estimates a loss of approximately 30 olive trees. He than phoned the municipality of Jamaiin to inform them. When the owner of the grove heared what had happened to his property, which had been part of his family for many decades, he called IWPS.

Angie, Karin and Mariam from IWPS went with the owner to see some of his olive trees. Because of the roadblock, which prevented him taking us to the land by car, he did not show us the trees which were burnt last weekend, but he showed us two other groves which had been partly destroyed. One grove is situated directly below Ariel, which was planted with young olive trees (about 7 years old; as he explained, one can only harvest olives after 10 years). They were burnt approximately 15 days ago. He doesn’t know how or by whom, but presumes it to be by settlers.

The other olive grove is right next to the settler road on the side of Kifl Hares close to the road block. There is a broad strip of land without trees along the road. The owner told us, that about two years ago the Israeli Forces wanted to construct a settler-road on that place and destroyed all the olive trees which were in that area. He and his family and lots of other farmers were affected and never got any compensation. 18 of the trees belonged to him. All in all he estimates a loss of 120 olive trees in the three places.

Report written by: Karin

Date report written on: 7.10.2002

IWPS Incident Report No. 9

Summary: prevention of identification of criminal armed settlers by police and soldiers in the olive groves of Yasuf on Thursday 3rd October 2002.

Incident details

Date: 3rd October 2002

Time: 12.30-1.30 p.m.

Place: Yasuf olive fields just underneath the New Tapuach Settlement.

Witness: Suzy Mordechay, Rabbi Arik Asherman.

Description of Incident

On Tuesday, 1/10/02, I made a formal complaint to the Ariel Police about the attack by settlers on myself and villagers from Yasuf (see App.1). We were shot at, stoned and my bag, camera and other possessions were stolen. I was asked to look through photos of settlers to try to identify the attackers. I said I would be able to identify two settlers if I saw them again. I also pointed out that it would not be difficult to find the two as one of them owned a big brown dog and was originally from the UK.

On Thursday, 3/10/02, together with a group of around 40-45 Yasuf villagers and around 20-25 Israelis, we went to the same olive grove in which the settlers had been stealing olives. We went to pick them with the owner of the land, his family and other villagers. Around 12:30 several settlers advanced to a distance of around 100 meters from us. They were stopped by police, plainclothes police and soldiers. Around 13:00, settlers started advancing toward us from various directions. It was at this point that I recognized the two settlers who were part of the armed gang of around 30-40 settlers who had attacked us two days previously. They came to within 30-40 meters. I tried to point them out to the police present and I asked if they would identify them, that they were the ones that had attacked me previously. I asked several police-men present but they all ignored me. I tried to get several of the Israelis to photograph the two settlers and the dog but the police purposely got in the way and put their hands over the cameras and told us to go away. The settlers were not ashamed of hiding. They made themselves quite obvious, pointing me out and waving. They obviously felt quite safe and protected by the police.

I spoke to the police officer in charge, who I was informed later, was called Dudi Shein. He was quite rude and aggressive and just wanted me to go away. He said that I should leave the area. I asked why it was we who had to leave and not the settlers when it was Palestinian land and all they wanted to do was pick their olives. Why should the armed thugs be allowed to steal the olives while the unarmed owners of the fields were not allowed free access? Was this not encouraging violence and terrorism?

It was as I was being pushed back down the olive fields that I saw the forensic expert from Ariel who had shown me the photos of the settlers and asked me to try and identify them. He had a video camera and was video-taping all the Israelis and Palestinians. I approached him and said I had seen the two settlers who had attacked me and would he let me identify them so they could be prosecuted. I said they were there with the dog and were not hiding. He seemed to be talking about it to the police officer but I was forced back down the hill and could not carry on my appeal to him to photograph the violent settlers rather than us.

This statement will be handed in to the Ariel Police as soon as an interview has been arranged with Ami Baran to make a formal complaint and to see the footage of the forensic expert there.

Report written by- Angie Zelter.

Date report written on: 6/10/02

IWPS Incident Report No. 8

Summary: shot fired and stoning of Palestinians and IWPS member in Yasuf olive grove on Tuesday 1st October 2002.

Incident details

Date: 1st October 2002

Time: 12.30-1.30 p.m.

Place: Yasuf olive fields just underneath the New Tapuach Settlement.

Witness: Suzy Mordechay, Rabbi Arik Asherman.

Description of Incident

At approximately 9.45a.m. this morning I met a Palestinian man from the village of Yasuf who reported that settlers from Tafuah had been stealing olives from Yasuf olive orchards. I went with him to Yasuf and was taken to a house in Yasuf where I could see in the distance settlers moving under the trees of Yasuf. This was about 10.15 a.m. I was told the settlers had been picking Yasuf olives for 3 days from 6a.m. to 6p.m. The villagers were angry at the theft but were scared as the settlers were armed. The villagers said they had rung the DCL and Police but the settlers were continuing to steal the olives. I rang telephone number 100 and talked to the police and reported the ongoing theft. I also rang the Red Cross, Rabbis for Human Rights, B’tselem and the DCL. After half an hour or so the police said they would meet the villagers at the entrance to the Tappuah settlement. 2 Palestinians went to meet the police.

Meanwhile I told the police I would go with some villagers peacefully to ask the settlers to stop their theft. I left Yasuf village with 6 old men and 1 older woman. We all walked slowly along the Palestinian path through their orchards, past the water spring and up the hill. We stopped just before going around the corner and before we could see the settlers and rang the police again to tell them we were peacefully approaching the settlers. We then approached to within 500 yards and were stopped by a bullet from a gun fired by the 10 or so settlers in the olive trees. The bullet raised dust around 10 yards ahead of us on the path. The men and woman with me immediately sat down. I remained standing and took photos. More settlers, around 20 or 30 were soon seen coming from the settlement above and 3 Palestinians left back to the village of Yasuf. I was left with 4 old men sitting on the ground. There was a stand-off with the settlers about 400 yards away on the path ahead and us waiting peacefully. The settlers had quite a few guns amongst them. Some of the settlers began to move towards us with stones and then stopped. I rang the police on no.100 again and explained the situation and then gave the phone to one of the Yasuf villagers. He was told to go back to the village. The men got up and began to walk slowly back to the village. They were old with walking sticks. The settlers then began to run towards us throwing stones. Several stones landed very close to me and I was frightened. I was behind the old men. Suddenly the settlers surrounded me, snatched my camera, tore my bag off my back and shouted at me. The rest ran after the old men. I heard later that one was injured in the shoulder by a rock thrown at him.

I was frightened and sat down. Around 6 or 7 settlers and 1 dog surrounded me. One tall settler with dark hair who had stolen my camera and bag began to go through the bag and tear up the papers in it. I saw him later with the small black rucksack (my bag) on his back. One gave me back my two purses. Another tried to take my phone but I managed to keep hold of it. After a while they all moved off towards Yasuf. I was left with two settlers. One was quite tall and thin with long curly hair and spoke English and one was shorter and fatter with short lighter hair and a round face and he owned the big brown and white dog. They said all the land and Yasuf was their land and none belonged to the Palestinians. Another settler came by and threw me my passport and said go now. But I said I wanted my camera and black bag back. I stayed there for maybe 20 minutes until the settlers went back towards the settlement. I then left and walked back to the village. Most of the time the villagers in Yasuf could see me on the hill. I arrived back at Yasuf around 1.30p.m. By this time Nawaf Suf had arrived in Yasuf and had arranged to talk to the DCL. At around 4.18p.m. soldiers, police and DCL (Amir Pastella and Omir Hemiley in Jeep no 669920 and Rafi from the DCL and others) took me and Nawaf to near the settlement. I was able to show them where roughly I was when attacked. A settler came up and talked to them. I was then taken to Ariel where I waited an hour to make a statement. I was shown photos of settlers but could not recognize anyone. However, I am sure I could positively identify the English settler with the dog and the other settler who stood by me with the guns and who were part of the group throwing stones and who witnessed the settlers taking my camera and bag. My visa was not returned. I rang the UK consul and reported what had happened.

Report written by: Angie.

Date report written on: 1/10/02

IWPS Incident Report No.7

Summary: Bulldozers destroy Trees for New Electricity Supply

Date: September 18th 2002

Time: Approximately 15:00

Place: Hares olive grove.

Witness: Mariam (IWPS), Joan (Volunteer)

Description of Incident:

At 3:00 pm IWPS was informed by Abu Rabia that a bulldozer was uprooting olive trees in Hares. IWPS (Joan & Mariam) proceed to the site. Two pieces of heavy machinery were in the process of carving a very wide road in the olive grove.

Met with Yaniv Bar, a contractor making this road for the Israel Electrical Company. The project is called Ariel-Vosh.

Yaniv Bar informed IWPS that all the necessary documentation was in order and that there was nothing illegal about this project. This is a joint Israeli- Palestine project to bring more electricity to the villages in the area. Mr. Bar said that the Mayors were informed of this project. No objection had been declared.

The owner, his brother, his son and a few other landowners were on the spot. Owner and his son were not aware of this project.

Mariam contacted Abu Rabia by telephone to find out if he knew about this. He gave an evasive response that Israeli can take any land they wish. Mariam asked him directly three times if he was aware of this particular project. He did not deny knowing about it nor did he admit to it.

By 4:30 pm the work crew was leaving. We also left. Mr. Ali’s son drove IWPS back to the House. He had a long discussion with Abu Rabia.

Outcome: The owner of the land realizes that IWPS cannot intervene in this matter. This action was in line with IWPS’s mandate of non-violent conflict resolution.

Report written by: Mariam on September 19th 2002

IWPS Incident Report number: 6

Summary: Local demonstration to support Arafat brings curfew, sound bombs and live fire from IOF

Incident details

Date: 22nd September 2002

Time: 22:30

Place: Hares village, all areas

Witness: Claire and Angie, IWPS

Description of Incident:

At around 21:00, team members Claire and Angie heard crowds shouting and whistling in the center of Hares. We were told that there was a march and demonstration in support of Arafat – who was being held up in the Muquat’a in Ramallah. We went to the scene, and saw a crowd of young buys, between the ages of 7 and 13 approximately, walking in the streets. The boys came up top us and asked us to film them, then began chanting in Arabic.
After about 5 minutes, some of the boys told us that they were planning to go and throw some stones at the soldiers. Claire asked them if they thought that was a good idea, some replied yes but others said no, that it would only mean they’d get shot. Another five minutes later, Claire and Angie decided to leave the scene, as it seemed that the group was dispersing anyway. Some boys told us that it looked like there would be no stone throwing that night.

Angie and Claire returned to the house, and everything was quiet for about an hour. Then, we heard again increasing sounds of whistling and shouting, coming from diverse areas of the village. We went up to the roof and saw 5 Israeli jeeps deploying into the village, entering from various directions.

At 22:30 seven shots were fired. A few moments later we heard sound bombs. Five sound bombs were discharged within about 14 minutes. We could see that at least two jeeps had assembled in the center of the village; others seemed to be patrolling the outer areas. We continued to hear whistling sounds from youths. At about 10:45 the jeeps left the area.

Report written by: Claire

Date report written: 23 Sept. 2002

IWPS Incident Report no.5

Summary: Soldiers riot in center of Hares village, set fire to rubbish and fire guns

Date: September 18th 2002

Time: Approximately 17:00

Place: Hares village center – outside the central mosque and school

Witness:- Mariam (IWPS), Joan (Volunteer)

Description of Incident

At approximately 5:00 pm on, IDF Border Police Branch began circulating through the center of Hares in their jeeps, announcing through loudspeakers that there was a ‘curfew’ and that residents of Hares must stay inside their houses or risk being shot. No reason was given for this curfew. Mariam and Joan (M. and J.) made their way to the roadblock at the junction between the village road and the main (settler) road in order to ask the soldiers stationed there about the reason for the curfew. The soldiers replied that they did not know anything about it.

As M. and J. started walking back towards the village, they received a telephone call from a villager informing them that soldiers had set fire to a pile of wood in front of the school in the center of the village. As M. and J. approached the area, they observed approximately 10 soldiers with guns in firing position. One soldier shouted at M. and J., who were approaching the soldiers, in full view, calmly, slowly and with their hands up. M. and J. proceeded forward despite the soldiers shouting at them to turn back and go away.

When M. and J. reached the group of soldiers they asked who was in charge and who spoke English. One soldier responded that he was in charge but that he did not wish to speak to the them. M. and J. retreated and noticed that as they did so, the IDF soldiers also moved off in their jeeps. However, they stopped again approximately 200 yards down the road and again started shooting their guns – from the evidence of bullet casings collected later from the scene they were using both rubber bullets and live ammunition. They were also seen smashing windows with rocks and throwing tear gas canisters. M. and J. followed the action and photographed some scenes of damage to homes.

At one point, M. and J. took refuge in a house until the shooting had stopped. Upon returning to the street, they met several local residents who had also come out to estimate the damage. One resident, who was very angry, directed us the area where the shooting had taken place and to the house that had been shot at. There we found on the ground rubber bullets, empty gas canisters and empty casing for live bullets. In the house, there was broken glass from the smashed windows.

Everyone around was very upset by this unprovoked action, including a number of traumatized young children who had been sheltering in that house and houses nearby at the time of the attacks.

After ensuring that no one had been injured in the attack and needed further help, the two women returned to the IWPS house at 7pm.

Report written by: Mariam on September 19th 2002

IWPS Incident Report No. 4

Summary: Israeli police compound tractor belonging to Marda resident, claiming that it is needed as evidence in a criminal investigation

Incident details

Date: 28th August 2002

Time: between 10:30 and 22:00 approximately

Place- X’s house in Marda and Ariel Police station

Witness: 3 witnesses. Lawyer appointed by family from the Jerusalem Centre for Human Rights.

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Necessary preliminary information

  • The tractor that was taken from X had only 6 days earlier been sold to him, so, although X is the rightful owner, all documents pertaining to the tractor are still in the previous owner’s name.
  • The telephone number of the previous owner was still printed on the side of the tractor at the time that the incident took place.
  • During the week before the incident, the Israeli police received a report from a settler that he had seen some Palestinians using a tractor to ‘steal something’ or ‘transport some stolen goods’.
  • According to the lawyer, the settler was unable to positively identify either the tractor, or X as having been involved in the alleged theft.

Description of Incident

At approximately 10:30 on 28th August, Israeli police, accompanied by soldiers, entered the village of Marda and went to the place where the tractor was parked. They saw the telephone number on the side of the tractor and called it. They spoke with the previous owner and told him to come to the place where the tractor was to answer some questions. He arrived and the police questioned him about the tractor. He told them that he had sold it 6 days earlier to X . The police asked him to take them to X ’s house. When they arrived at the house they found that X was not in, but his wife was, along with X ’s father (shaher) and his brother.
Next, the police made the previous owner drive the tractor ( it is unclear where he got the keys) to Ariel police station, where he left it. The police did not give him any documents. Then the police took him back to Marda. Once in Marda again, the police released him and went to the house of X once more. X ’s wife was very frightened and refused to open the door to the police, so the police and soldiers forced their way in, breaking a window and damaging a door in the process. Inside they found X ’s brother, and arrested him. They also arrested the previous owner (again) and took them both back to Ariel, where they questioned them about the tractor. Followiing the questioning, the police obtained the telephone number of X ’s father, and called him to ask where his son was, accusing him of hiding their suspect. The father (who was attending a wedding at the time) replied that he still did not know.
On returning to the house, the father finally found his son X at home. He told him that the Police had been looking for him, and X went voluntarily to the police station in Ariel to find out what was going on. All the police would say was that the tractor had been impounded for the purposes of their investigation. At 22:00 all three men were released, but the tractor remains in Ariel. The lawyer reports that the police are maintaining that they have the right to keep the tractor throughout the investigation. The lawyer also reports that the investigation seems to be taking an unreasonably long time, especially as this particular tractor does not seem to be implicated in any way. I asked the lawyer if he thought that IWPS intervention could help. He replied that perhaps it might make the police even more stubborn.

Report written by: Angie and Claire

Date report written: 23 Sept. 2002

IWPS Incident Report No. 3

Summary: Soldiers throw stones at night, disturb residents

Date: Saturday 21st September 2002

Time: Around 12 midnight.

Place: Hares, Salfit, West Bank. Around Abu Fadi’s house next to the roadblock at the entrance to Hares from the 5066 road.

Description of Incident

Angie (IWPS Member) was called at around 11.20p.m. by Abu Fadi who said soldiers had been throwing stones at him and his house for about half an hour. I dressed, phoned Hani Dik of the Red Cross to inform him and then went up to the Hadjes. I was there by about midnight. I found Abu Fadi, his brother and another man and some young children just in front of the house. They said the soldiers were still there and still throwing stones. Abu Fadi had asked the soldiers to stop but the soldiers said that kids were standing outside their houses. Abu Fadi replied that it was their house why shouldn’t they stand there? The soldiers replied that they shoot that way, that was why the kids should move. They then continued to throw stones.

I went over the roadblock and saw 4 soldiers outside their jeep, one was sitting on the bonnet, all were lounging around in a relaxed way as if they were enjoying themselves. I went up to them and asked why they were throwing stones. One said in a sneering manner, ‘Soldiers don’t throw stones’, I replied that they had thrown gas into the village this afternoon, that I was monitoring the situation, that I had been told by reliable witnesses that they had been throwing stones and that they should stop it immediately. I then returned and sat in the full glare of their searchlights outside Abu Fadi’s house with the men and kids. After playing around with their searchlights, lighting up houses nearby, for about half an hour, they left.

Report written by: Angie Zelter on 22/9/02.

IWPS Incident Report No. 2

Headline: Soldiers fire tear gas in unprovoked incident

Date: Saturday 21st September 2002

Time: Around 3.45 p.m.

Place: Hares, Salfit, West Bank. Around Abu Fadi’s house and other members of the Shamlawiy Family homes right next to the roadblock at the entrance to Hares from the 5066 road.

Description of Incident:

Angie (IWPS Member) and Shelly (Israeli Peace Movement) smelt tear gas in the IWPS House and Rabia came up to say there was gas being shot into the Hadjes (roadblock) area. Angie and Shelly went to the Hadjes, passing a flock of goats that had obviously just come through the road-block, and quietly made themselves obvious, with cameras and notebooks, Shelley standing and Angie sitting on the large cement block. They arrived there at 4 p.m. and saw a jeep numbered 610772 with 4 soldiers with guns by it.

Another jeep drove by at 4.04 p.m. coming from the direction of the 505 road (numbers something like 992) and after a few minutes it went on returning back at 4.06. A police jeep also passed. The 992 jeep went off in the direction of the road to Deir Istya and the Immanuel settlement at about 4.08.

The 610772 jeep remained with the soldiers checking the IDs of various people trying to cross the road and eventually left at 4.15p.m, but returned at 4.22. At around 4.30 Shelley went up to them quietly and asked in Hebrew why the tear gas had been thrown. She was told that some stones had been thrown and was shown a few small stones on the road. There are always stones on the road that the vehicles pick up on their tires from the dirt tracks and that the goats kick up as they cross the road. She left after a few minutes and the soldiers left almost immediately. They did not return within the 40 minutes or so that they sat down with Abu Fadi and got a report from him and the family about what had happened.

Abu Fadi said the gas was fired without provocation. No stones had been thrown as far as he was aware. There were some young boys under the trees but they were not throwing stones. We were shown two gas canisters on the ground under the trees by an older brother of Abu Fadi’s where the taxi men wait and another 2 in Abu Fadi’s garden and Abu Fadi also told us one was fired on to his roof – he said around 4 or 5 these had just been fired. Abu Fadi said he now had a headache from the gas. He said they were very vulnerable and got a lot of gas, sound bombs and shots fired into their garden.

Witnesses: Abu Fadi, Angie Zelter, Shelley Nativ, Rabia Souf.

Report written by: Angie Zelter on 21/9/02

IWPS Incident Report No.1

Summary: Soldiers throw tear gas and fire live ammunition, apparently in return for ‘children throwing stones’

Date of Incident: Thursday 19th September 2002

Time: Around 1.30 p.m.

Place: Hares, Salfit, West Bank. Around Abu Fadi’s house right next to the roadblock at the entrance to Hares from the 5066 road.

Description of Incident

Abu Fadi told Angie that around 1.30 p.m. on Thursday 19th September 2002 soldiers and police had gathered on the main 505 road between the shop and the turn off to the Hadjes. He was obviously talking about the same incident that Claire and Mariam got involved in later. He said the soldiers and police were checking vehicles on the road and some boys whistled at them. The policed then threw 1 gas canister and shot around 6 bullets. He showed me new damage to his windows and house.

Witnesses: Abu Fadi, Mariam, Claire, Arik Ashermann.

Report written by Angie Zelter on 21/9/02

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